Pokémon Go? More Like Pokémon NO

I’ve had this app for a week and I am not loving it.

I was so excited when Pokémon Go came out. I waited until it was legal in Canada to download it. It came out about five days after the American release, so I had spent that week being bombarded with tweets and articles and hype about just how great this game was. As a long time Pokémon fan (Yellow was the first ever video game I ever played!), I was very excited to be able to use my beloved phone and catch Pokémon in my own backyard!

But of course, as soon as I downloaded it, I was hit with clogged servers. Only after two hours did I finally get to the point where I could make an account and catch a starter, and even that process was slow and laggy.

In order to savour the game, I didn’t do much reading on it before downloading. I mean, who really reads the instructions for things? But I wish I did, because I had no idea what to do. Professor Willow explained nothing and between that and the laggy phone, I ended up just clicking the first Pokémon I saw, which was a Squirtle. Squirtle is cool and all, but Charmander is where it’s at.

Overall, I was very disappointed with the lack of instructions. What is a Pokécandy? What’s that thing on the map? Why would I want more than one Weedle? How do I get money? What do I do at a Pokéstop? Honesty, Professor Oak would never be so negligent. I had to do a lot of Google searching. These articles helped me best: X / X

The multiple Pokémon thing really bugged me. In normal games, I would never even think about catching multiples of the same Pokémon, unless it’s an Eevee or something with different final evolutions. But this game relies on the player catching anything and everything, and then sending the weaker ones to Willow (“sending them for slaughter,” my boss joked). With this logic, we’re unable to really develop any attachments to our Pokémon. It also forces us to catch Pokémon that we likely wouldn’t bother with in the game. I don’t mean to sound like a snob (okay, I kind of do) but Zubats are not worth my time.

The next thing that frustrated me was what a player needed to really succeed at this game. First of all, a data plan. I don’t have one, but luckily my father does, so the few times I’ve been out of wifi zones, I’ve used his unlimited data via hotspot. But isn’t this game kind of geared towards kids? What are children doing with iPhones and data plans? And then there’s the time dedication. I work all day. I try to catch something at lunch and I play a bit before and after work when I’m at home, but all in all, very little time is spent on the game. That’s why I’m at level five. For one to be at level 20+ and have strong Pokémon, they’d need to play a lot. Which I wouldn’t have a problem with if this game wasn’t so popular and competitive. In the normal games, you have no one to compare to. You’re the best, the strongest, the richest. All the characters like you and you’ve caught legendary. But now through this app, we have to compare ourselves to everyone from children to adults all over.

And then there’s the location thing. My town sucks. It’s not even some hick-town-nowhere-land. It’s moderately big and fairly close to a major city. And yet there’s basically nothing in sight on the map’s app. I have no motivation to go explore when I know I’ll have to walk pretty far. Just last weekend my family went on a little trip and the town we stayed in had so many Pokéstops and gyms. It was really unfair.

Not that I really got to experience that town because my app couldn’t stay open for three seconds. Not only does it take a minute or two to load, if it did get going, it’d then immediately crash. In my three days there, I managed to catch a Staryu and a Magicarp while my brother caught like 25 Pokémon and hit up several Pokestops. I was so angry and fed up with trying. But I guess that if the app manages to work for my brother right next to me, then the problem has to be my iPhone 4S. I guess that’s too old to handle such an app. This tweet basically sums my feelings up, though:

I really wanted to love this game. I mean, I appreciate its existence but I do find it very flawed, which is disappointing considering how excited I was to play. I really would have rather this app be more like the normal games, where you can battle people/Pokémon around you, have the opportunity to find rarer Pokémon more often and not use a ton of data and battery to do so. I’m interested to see what updates Nintendo rolls out for this app and whether this Pokémania lasts. Of course I’ll keep playing the game and trying my best, but I’ve come to accept the fact that I’ll always be a sucky player and there’s not much I can do about that.

What are your thoughts on the app?


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32 thoughts on “Pokémon Go? More Like Pokémon NO

  1. Interesting. In all the hype, I haven’t heard as much of the negative, actually. That, and I have nothing to compare it to. My city in South Korea is a barren wasteland on the map, and the only city that does support it by some fluke is a 6hr bus ride away 😛 It was entertaining to ask some of my Gr. 6 students about their summer, to hear “I’m going to Sokcho to catch Pokémon.” 😛 I’m excited to try it when I do make it back to Canada…wonder if the hype train will have slowed by then.

    • I feel like the hype train will last until Christmas. It’ll go on through the summer and amp up again in September as campuses are apparently Poke hotspots, but eventually as life and school kick in, it’ll die off.
      That’s too bad that your location is so sucky. Maybe it’ll update soon and more will be added near you.

  2. I am literally writing a post about my experience with Pokemon Go. Out of the week or so it’s been on my phone I’ve only used it 2x. It’s so glitchy and I live in the middle of nowhere and all I get are Weedle’s and Rattata’s. I’ll stick to playing Pokemon X & Y and wait patiently for Pokemon Sun & Moon to come out.

  3. I agree with you so much. I had to wait about a week to download it as well and when I got it it was SO glitchy, even on my iPhone 6. I’m in a pretty rural area right now without a data plan (I’m abroad for about another month) so I got bored with it pretty quickly. I deleted the app for now, maybe I will redownload it later when there are less glitches and I’m back in the city.

    • Yeah I’ve considered deleting it several times. I should have waited a while to download, really. So now I’ll suffer. 😛 But you should at least try again when you’re back in the city, like you said. Might as well, right?

  4. I had considered, for about 3 minutes, that Pokémon Go might be a fun way for The Viking and I to get out and get active. When I broached the subject, this was The Viking’s reply: “What the#$%@?! No! No! No! What in the %$#@ were you even thinking?! That will never %$#@ing happen!” So I guess we won’t be Pokémon Going. Ever apparently. :o)

    • Ha, well, it’s really a one-player game, so if you want to play it and get outside, then do it! You don’t need permission to be a Pokémon Master!

  5. I’m so happy I’m not the only person having issues with Pokémon Go!
    I have a 4S too and what you described is my experience to a T.
    I’ve managed to get to Level 8 and a few cool Pokémon, but whenever I try to hit a gym, it crashes.
    Whenever there is too much around, it crashes. Whenever I’m going faster than 10mph, it crashes.
    When I was trying to nickname my Eevees (so if they ever evolve, I could have one of each of the Eeveelutions), it crashed. Now I’m trying to transfer my weaker Ratatas and it crashes. Lately even Pokéstop make it crash!

    I’ve found it works better the farther from home I am… (Unless I go into the city, because then it’s too much and it doesn’t even open.)

    I’m so frustrated, but when it does work, it’s fun!

    I’m trying to be patient, but it’s been awful since I got back.

    Just gonna keep the torture going until it works, haha.

    • I feel ya. I feel ya in my soul.
      I haven’t even tried hitting up a Gym because on the first day it came out, I was talking to some 14 year old boy at the park who told me not to go to one until I’m level 10 or I’ll get laughed at.

  6. Hey!
    Well, I convinced myself not to download it before I wrote “Pokémon Go…and why I probably can’t play it” and looking at this, I think I’ve made the right choice! It such a bummer because I love Pokémon. Thanks for the like on my post though!

  7. Gotta catch them all, right ? No it’s so frustrating me and my brother thought this would be fun since we both love both. We just ended getting angry halfway and deleting the app. PS I understand your frustration.

  8. I don’t have any devices that are compatible with the app and I work in a public building that’s a Pokéstop, so I see people playing it all day every day. I have been very jealous of all the fun everyone appears to be having – it’s nice to read this post and realize maybe I’m not missing out on too much after all 🙂

    • No, you’re not missing that much at all. If you ever get a compatible device then give it a try but overall, playing the regular video games are much more fun!

  9. With world going all gaga over Pokemon Go and Game of Thrones, I’m here with zero knowledge about both. xD
    (Does that make me weird?) This post has all the more reasons to add in my defence on not playing the game.

    • Finally! Someone who also doesn’t care about GoT! I’ve never seen the show, never read the books, but I know enough about them just from word of mouth or the Internet. I’m not really inclined to change that.

  10. Wow! I didn’t know people were facing such issues with the app. It’s not even officially launched in India and we’re all using the apk version to play. It has been pretty smooth so far.
    My phone is new and has a decent bettery life + fast charging so I have been able to play the game a lot. My locality has a lot of Pokéstops and gyms and sometimes I can catch rare Pokémon (Porygon) at home too!
    Another advantage we have is the traffic on our roads! If you’re travelling at a certain speed in the car, you can get your eggs to hatch without walking. Thanks to all this and the generous souls with their lure modules, I am on Level 14 now.
    But I totally get what you mean about lack on information. For starters, I didn’t know that if you ignore the starter Pokémon, you can catch a Pikachu. Or what exactly did Pokéstops do? Or that you needed to catch multiple Pokémon (I hate Doduo). Things should have been better explained rather than leaving it to the players to discover things via trial and error.
    That being said, the game’s become a favourite as it gives me a reason to get out of the house! People here are loving it and hoping for the official version to lauch soon, which is probably this month, I think.

  11. I completely agree! I’m still at level 7 because there’s almost nothing around where I live, the app takes forever to load, and there are no instructions in sight (Youtube is a life saver for Pokemon tips!), but I know I’ll keep on playing anyway… I just hope they fix these things soon 😦

    • YouTube is great for tips, but the few videos I watched were by people who were already at level 18 and clearly have spent several days doing nothing but playing.
      There was a new update recently and it seems to be better in terms of crashing, so we’re getting there!

  12. I personally don’t play the game, but nearly every other person I know does, and while it was really cool to them at first, nowadays, most of them only play it when they visit a place with dozens of PokeStops. They recently added gen 2 and dittos to the game, but even with that, the people I know don’t play it very much. I think it’s a cool concept, but Nintendo really needs to get its internet stuff together if they hope to continue to profit from this, or the upcoming Nintendo Switch.

    • I still have the app but I don’t play it at all. It’s cool that they’re adding more things but unfortunately, I think the phase is over.
      I think the Switch will do well. It looks pretty cool and there seems to be some neat games coming.

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